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On mixing pickup types

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by markanini, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    I found myself wirting this on an other forum. Maybe someone will enjoy relating to it.

    I realize the flaw in my approach for mixing pickup types. I was trying to get a uniform tone in both positions but overshot which compromised the mids.

    I tried to get a full low-end full responce out of the bridge position by using a humbucker which ended up making the mids overly dominant. I tried to get an acoustic-like treble out of the neck position by using a single coil which ended up making the treble sound detached from low end. With both on the sound was rather boxy and fizzy with undefined mids.

    I think mixing different pickup types is more critical on bass as it's reproduced more hi-fi than guitar. I listened to some clips of Warwicks which had MM bridge and J neck and heard simmilar problems in tone responce like I was getting, although slightly diminished as the neck pickup was closer toward the bridge.
    Not that the tone isnt useful, actually it's a rather cool and unique tone. There's also the P-J combo which is great on funk styles, a bulge in the lows and and snappy highs. But ultimately unique tones give way for versatility.

    I certainly have a desire to achive a sort of modern defined tone while beeing able to switch from Rock to jazz to soul to funk etc. I find comfort in the fact that setting up the goal of achive all this in one bass is a futile excersize. It's a deeply educational process though. I find now that the L-filter helps more to achive that kind of versatitlity than mixing and matching pickup types.

    Lesson learned: Aim for good mids above all. You can have a unique tone or versatility but not both.

    There's one application where I found the humbucker-bridge-single-coil-neck combo shines; Bach cello pieces: http://www.box.net/shared/pu38tz1x1i

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